UCI Symphony Orchestra Says Farewell to Maestro Stephen Tucker

(Left to right) Maestro Stephen Tucker, Iryna Krechkovsky, Eric Byers

The final spring concert presents two notable guest artists for the occasion

Irvine, Calif., May 20, 2022 – The UCI Symphony Orchestra will present the 2021-22 season’s final concert led by Maestro Stephen Tucker, with special guest artists Iryna Krechkovsky, violin, and Eric Byers, cello. The concert will take place on Friday, May 27, at 8 p.m. in the Irvine Barclay Theatre and will be the last time Maestro Tucker conducts as the Music Director before he retires on June 30, 2022.

The UCI Symphony Orchestra is one of the premier large performance ensembles at the UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts. Since its inception in 1970, the orchestra has offered music majors, non-music majors, faculty, and other community members the opportunity to study and perform symphonic music of the ages. Maestro Tucker has conducted the ensemble since 2000. After 22 years, the May 27 concert will be his last on the podium. In addition to Maestro Tucker’s role as a professor and Robert and Marjorie Rawlins Chair of Music, he taught courses in the Department of Music such as orchestration, analysis, conducting, and music fundamentals. He has made conducting appearances in Bratislava, Slovakia, Budapest, Hungary, Canada, and Taiwan. His five-week residency in Taiwan was the inaugural exchange between National Taiwan Normal University and UCI as part of a “Sister School Agreement” between the two universities. Tucker taught conducting and performed in the famed National Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan. Most recently, he was a guest conductor for two orchestral performances in Bitonto and Ceglia Messapica, Italy.

“After spending this many years and hours of rehearsals and concerts with this orchestra, things will certainly feel different when I leave the podium on May 27. This is the end of an era, said Maestro Tucker. “However, I anticipate continued success for the UCI Symphony and the Claire Trevor School of the Arts.”

Maestro Tucker is thrilled to present three works for his spring concert and welcomes two leading classical musicians as his final guest soloists. The program includes Johannes Brahms’ Tragic Overture, Op.81; Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, Op. 14, with Iryna Krechkovsky, violin; and Johannes Brahms’ Concerto for Violin and Cello, Op.102, with Krechkovsky and Eric Byers, cello.

Iryna Krechkovsky is a prize-winning violinist with an international career in solo, chamber, and orchestral performances. She has performed in concert venues from Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City to The American Church in Paris, and Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, and was featured on National Public Radio, KABC-TV Los Angeles, the Public Broadcasting Service, and most recently, as a speaker/performer at TEDxChapmanU. Krechkovsky was a top prize winner at the Sorantin International Competition, the Canadian Music Competition, the Kocian International Violin Competition in Czech Republic, the Beverly Hills Auditions, and the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank Competition, which afforded her a three-year loan of the 1689 “Baumgartner” Stradivari violin.

Cellist Eric Byers is a soloist, chamber musician, and composer. At 18, he made his solo debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. First inspired to compose while on retreat in Joshua Tree, Byers is a self-taught composer whose works have been performed at Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., SummerStage in New York’s Central Park, and Hear Now Festival in Los Angeles. He is a founding member of the Calder Quartet, and in 2018, he debuted with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Wigmore Hall, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Salzburg Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Melbourne Festival, Ojai Festival, Kennedy Center, Disney Hall, Mozarteum, Esterházy Palace, and the Sydney Opera House. Byers has taught chamber music at the Colburn School, coached chamber music at Oberlin College Conservatory, and conducted masterclasses at The Juilliard School, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Southern California, Aspen Music Festival, UCLA, and the Crossroads School in Santa Monica, CA. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from USC Thornton School of Music, a Professional Studies Certificate from Colburn Conservatory, and an Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School.

Maestro Tucker will also present a pre-concert conversation offering observations and anecdotes for the performance program. The conversations are a fan favorite and offer insights into the music selections and background. The talk is open to all ticket holders at 7 p.m. and will run for approximately 30 minutes.

UCI Symphony Orchestra Performance and Ticket Information

Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine, CA 92612
Friday, May 27, at 8 p.m. – pre-concert conversation with Maestro Tucker at 7 p.m.
General Admission $21; Seniors, Groups 10+, UCI Faculty & Staff: $18; Arts Packages: $16; UCI Students & Children under 17: $8
Box Office (949) 824-2787 or www.arts.uci.edu/tickets.
Direct link to buy symphony tickets

If you would like to make a contribution to the Friends of the Symphony in honor of Dr. Stephen Tucker, please contact Briana Watson at briana.watson@uci.edu or (949) 824-8750 or click below to make a donation online.


About UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts: As UCI’s creative laboratory, the Claire Trevor School of the Arts explores and presents the arts as the essence of human experience and expression, through art forms ranging from the most traditional to the radically new. The international faculty works across a wide variety of disciplines, partnering with others across the campus.  National-ranked programs in art, dance, drama, and music begin with training but end in original invention. Students come to UCI to learn to be citizen-artists, to sharpen their skills and talents, and to become the molders and leaders of world culture. For more information, visit www.arts.uci.edu.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.

Media access: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UCI news, visit news.uci.edu. Additional resources for journalists may be found at communications.uci.edu/for-journalists.

Posted Date: 
May 19, 2022